The 2011 NFL Draft continues apace Friday night, but almost 15 picks into the second round top DE prospect Da’Quan Bowers of Clemson still hasn’t found an NFL home. The rumors about Bowers’s arthritic knee have proven to be much more damaging to his draft stock than anybody could have anticipated—despite most teams claiming to have given him a clean bill of health prior to the draft, 12 defensive linemen were picked in the first round without Bowers.
Some team will have to take a chance on Bowers eventually; he’s just too good, and we’re just too far into the 2011 NFL Draft. Even if he lasts five years, five years of a first-round caliber defensive end are worth more than eight years of the average second-rounder.
Bowers is going to make some team very happy—and very nervous. And he’ll likely do it before the end of the second round. But then, I thought it would be before the end of the first round.